Complete Streets Update



Complete Streets Update

As many of you may already know, there is some Complete Streets legislation working it’s way through the House Committee on Municipal Government.  There are two bills of interest:

H5821:  Establishes a Complete Streets Council.  It will consist of eleven members from the six state agencies and from the local government, public and other groups that are working on Complete Streets initiatives. The council has well defined tasks and a six year timeframe to accomplish them, by the end of which complete streets policy will have been successfully and comprehensively adopted across the state.

H5886:  Defines Complete Streets and the requirement for RIDOT and local municipalities to incorporate Complete Street designs in all future projects.  It also requires that RIDOT provide a report in the future, demonstrating how projects around the state are adhering to Complete Street principles.

The House Committee on Municipal Government held a hearing last night.  The Projo reports that the hearing received mixed reviews.  The main argument against the bill was a concern over where the money to complete such projects would come from.  How about this for a solution, let’s simplify our overall infrastructure by growing the ability for people to move themselves and expand our public transit system.  The end result, less overall vehicles on the roadways, fewer traffic jams, and the ability to get by with narrower and fewer streets.

I know there are a few people involved with the Complete Streets movement who watch this blog.  It would be great to get their first hand feedback about the hearings.


  • mattm
    Apr 2, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I hadn't been aware that a stronger complete complete streets measure being discussed at the state level. I assume that RIBike is being represented as a member of CTC on this?

    Obviously many things are being shouted down on "cost" arguments, and inappropriateness, as though complete streets is some set of stodgy rules for road design in all situations that costs a lot of extra money, and indirectly shows how little value they have for other people's safety.

    The bills got a mocking reception from Rep. Brian C. Newberry, R-North Smithfield, who said they call for things irrelevant to rural areas. He dismissed them as “nonsense.”

  • Labann
    Apr 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Been a FEDERAL mandate since 1999. It's about time RI started discussing, because feds are already withholding funds to states that don't comply. Lucky for RI, Bush spend EIGHT years countermanding prosecution of such policies.

    Note the EIGHT years it took to complete 2 miles of connecting bikeway in Quidnick (Coventry Greenway to WSBP). We'll all be dead and gasoline will be unavailable before it passes. We're always a day late and a dollar short.

  • Victor
    Apr 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    When was this? I would have came.

  • Apr 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    @Matt the hearing was back-to-back with our vulnerable road user hearing. I did draft a letter of support for the Complete Streets measures and have been in touch with Abel Collins of the Sierra Club about how the movement is going. If anyone is interested in helping out, I think one of the best things we can do is to get our local city/town governments on board with a resolution. I think Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, and North Kingston have all signed a resolution. I'm working on Bristol. There are people working on Cumberland and in the very early stages of Providence. If you live in Providence, I'm sure they would appreciate help as this could be one of the tougher nuts to crack.

    @Victor the hearing was Thursday night. We will try to get something on the calendar next time.